Can a Florida Corporation Work Out of State?

by Rachel Moran
Florida businesses can expand if they satisfy the new state's rules.

Florida businesses can expand if they satisfy the new state's rules.

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A Florida corporation can work out of state if it is in good standing with Florida and registers as a foreign corporation with the state in which it wants to work. At the state level, a foreign corporation is just a business from another state. Keep in mind that Florida offers a favorable tax situation for many businesses that you may not be able to enjoy in other states. Some contract work may be subject to different rules, too, depending on the state.

Naming

If you want to work in another state, you must make sure that your business name isn't being used by another business there. Search the secretary of state database in the state where you want to work. Some states allow foreign corporations to use names similar to the names of businesses registered in the state, if your Florida business isn't infringing on a business's trademark. Other states require you file a "doing business as" name, using a similar procedure to filing the original business name.

Registration

Once you've determined your business's name in the new state, register your corporation with the Secretary of State, its corporate commission or other relevant administrative authority, depending on the state. You are likely to need the same items you used to form your Florida business -- articles with name, description and place of business, any financial governance and information on a registered agent. Most states require that you file annual reports, too.

Agent

Your business must have a registered agent in the state where you want to work. The business can be its own registered agent if you have a physical business location in the state. If not, you may use a registered agency service for a fee. The address of the registered agent is where the state will send legal process, including certificates or other papers.

Standing

You may lose foreign registration if you complete the defined term of business, as stated in your articles, or if you fail to file annual reports and the state dissolves the business. Your Florida business registration is not affected by your failure to maintain good standing in another state. In most places, though, foreign registration depends on your good standing in your home state. Most states will require a certificate of good standing from Florida to register a foreign business.

Taxes

Florida does not levy a personal income tax on residents' salaries. Personal profits earned from LLCs or partnerships are untaxed, too, although some partnerships and sole proprietorships may have to pay the state a corporate income tax as a business. This is a favorable situation -- most other states want more tax money than Florida. Working in other states requires that you register your business with its department of treasury or department of revenue. You may have to pay filing or registration fees. Any business you conduct in that state is subject to the taxation laws of that state.

Contracts

If you choose to accept contract work in another state, you may have different rules to follow. For starters, you must hold any licenses from that state that it requires for your operations, even if Florida doesn't require licensure. Some states may not require foreign registration for contract work. Some may require that you pay an income tax to that state, depending on the type of corporation you have. Again, the revenue or treasury department in that state governs this. For most states, if you want to perform government contracts, you must register with that state's government contractor certifying agency before bidding on work.